Monday, November 30, 2009

Flight, Family and Fuzziness

And of course she ran away again on Sunday. At least I got a chance to talk to her though and really tell her that I am here for her, whether or not she is following the rules. We'll see if she comes around.


I had a wonderful Thanksgiving in Spokane. We had a great family dinner on Thursday, then on Friday went to the Rocket Bakery on Cedar and 1st and had an awesome lunch with Dr. T's brothers and sister in law and two nefews. We also went to the Whitestone tasting room and enjoyed tasting Mr. M's own wine blend, Pieces of Earth.

I had been feeling weird since Wednesday though and when I went to work on Saturday I was pretty much a wreck. I was dizzy and couldn't concentrate. By Sunday I was a lump and didn't do more than watch tv all day. The only change I could think of was the antibiotics I have been taking for a tenacious case of acne, but I didn't think that could be the culprit. Finally I looked at the label to check and low and behold it can cause "dizziness, blurred vision". So I stopped taking it Sunday and called the doctor on Monday morning. I picked up some new, less lumpishness causing antibiotics yesterday.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I have so many things to be thankful for these days. A rewarding job that isn't going anywhere (whew), a wonderful family including my pretty good son and my lovely boyfriend, a bike that gets me where I am going and a car that is running well even though she is 17 years old--and gets good gas mileage.

I just got another thing to be thankful for. My mentee is back in the system and seems to be really interested in doing better and staying off the streets. I just talked to her and even though phone conversations can be awkward, I told her point blank that I care about her and what happens to her, and that if things did go wrong again, she can still call me and talk. You have to take these opportunites while you have them (as I learned while she was missing). It sounds like her baby is doing well and she has already had 2 visits and behaved like a parent, interested in being with her child. I am really proud that she is always so level headed with him. We talked about school; she is doing well in her classes so far and is going to join the basketball team. I was also told that while she was gone, despite being surrounded by crack and meth, the only drugs she did were pot and x. She was tested, it is true. To some that might sound like a lot, but it was recreational use (parties) and being around the other and having a history with them, it is really something.

I invited her for a family dinner at my house next Saturday. My Dad's Family* will all be there and we are planning on playing games and having dinner. It will hinge on whether her social worker can swing the permission.

Tomorrow Dr. T and I are heading for Spokane. We are having dinner at my Step Dad's with my Mom's Family*. It will be a whirl wind trip, since I have to work till 8 tonight and in the morning on Saturday, but it will be so nice to see everyone and to visit with my little niece :)

*Dad's Family=Dad, his wife and my siblings on his side, as opposed to my Mom's Family, which is really comprised of my siblings on her side, my step dad and his wife and not my mom at all. Family gets complicated.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Youthful Ignorance

Last week I spoke on a panel for the JRA mentor program. One of my mentee's friends was in attendance, so I was able to send her a note. I figure I will give her a week, then try to call her again. The panel went well. I was one of 3 that talked about my experience mentoring with the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration. It is hard to believe that I have known my mentee for over a year now.


I got a little upset today reading a police officer's blog (might have been Seattle, but could have been further South. Update #3: He is a Seattle Police Officer, based on his own comments). I would link it here, so that you could share in my sadness, but I don't feel like giving him any further hits. I am irritated that I gave him my own. Anyhow, he commented about how homeless youth migrate North and South with the weather, and how awful they are and that most of them are homeless because they want to be. Having volunteered at drop in for homeless youth and working with the interagency school through work, I can tell you that isn't true. There are a lot of factors that go into youth deciding to leave home. Why would anyone choose to sleep on the street, in constant fear for themselves and their few belongings, always battling the weather, when they could be at home with a loving family? Most youth choose the street because home is much worse, or because of mental health issues or drug addiction. Some girls are tricked in to prostitution by men/boys that pretend to love them and then are too afraid to leave. I found out about this blog because the officer in question doesn't seem to understand that copyright is a law and he stole an image from a blogger who chronicles her time with homeless youth through photos. And yes, if you follow that link, you can find the other. Update #1: that blogger pulled down her rant after the cop took off her picture. I have changed my mind about linking to him, as the more people that know about it the better:

Despite the backlash likely to happen, I commented on his blog. He screens his comments though, so you won't find it, at least not yet. I am sure he thinks I am full of sh** and that his time as a cop and a soldier make him an expert, without ever delving further into that world than he has to to arrest whomever doesn't fit into his definition of polite society (which from reading the rest of the page, is really no one--there isn't much respect for human rights portrayed there). Update #2: He didn't post my comment, maybe because I gave him a hard time about using someone elses work without asking, but maybe because he didn't like my argument against his broad generalizations.

I know there is a division between police and citizen here in Seattle. I don't know any officers personally, although the police men and women who come into the library seem nice enough. While I find the attitude portrayed in the blog exaggerated and ridiculous, I have felt the same way about some people's opinions of police officers (pigs, The Man, etc.). I don't like hasty generalizations about any group and try to keep from making them myself. I guess it is preferable to have these people blathering on in public so that we can be aware that they exist, rather than hiding away until they do something stupid.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Adventures in DIY

Today I had a 3 hour shift filling in at Capitol Hill. I took it as an excuse for an adventure and I took the bus and got to the Hill about an hour before the shift started. I wandered down Broadway from Olive to Mercer. A lot has changed since I lived in the 'hood about 4 years ago. New buildings have gone up, businesses have moved or been replaced, but the people are the same and so are many other things. I stopped in at Crossroads, Urban Outfitters and QFC, then made my way upstairs in the Broadway Market to check on whether the photo booth is still there. Score! It is and it has color photos. Oddly enough, it only takes credit cards, but that is ok too.

Which comes to my big plan for holiday cards. I wanted to do this last year, but couldn't get the boys to take me seriously and we ran out of time. This year, I am just dragging them to do it--and I already got them both to agree. What they don't know is that I intend to take them to Hana for sushi afterwards. Of course, that is as much a treat for me as it is for them.

Oh yeah, so the holiday cards. I want all three of us to cram into a photo booth and take 3 silly pictures and one "serious" or "normal" one. Then I want to scan these 4 pictures in to the computer in a square. Either I will get them printed at Costco or on my own printer, which doesn't do a bad job if I have the right paper, and put them on some cards I am making. I will be sure to post photo's when I am done.

I have been doing some crafting lately, making notepads for xmas presents. I took a book binding class at the Zine Unconference back in March, and I was pleasantly surprised that I remembered how to do it. I even modified it a bit to work with a wrap around cover.

The blue cover is one that I made in the class. I made the two smaller ones today. My tools are behind them--I never knew how useful an awl was before I bought this one. It has really made my life easy in a lot of ways. And I love this paper cutter. I got it for less than $30 at Costco a while back. It has a blunt edge cutter on the right and a wheel cutter on the left. The blunt cutter is better than the "real" paper cutter we have at work. I hope it lasts.

I have also been experimenting with simple screen printing, using an embroidery hoop, some fine mesh curtain fabric and acrylic paint. It is definitely possible, but I need to find the right kind of paper to use for the stencils. Newsprint get ink on the paper and bleeds, and paper bag is too thick. Maybe magazine paper...


The reward for my Broadway adventure? A hecka lot of rain and a bus that just never came on the way home. I was soaked. But it was totally worth it.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cold and Cluttered with a Chance of Cleaning

It is Sunday and I haven't even started the coffee pot yet. I got derailed last night when I asked Dr. T what he had to do today and he replied that he had to go to rounds at 6:30. AM. Sigh. I was going to make a big breakfast, but big breakfast for one is just not as exciting.

I came home wanting to go out last night, but ended up getting cold and I just took a bath, bundled up and went to bed fairly early for a Saturday. Proof I am getting old I suppose. I haven't ridden all week because of being sick and various errands that I had to do, so it is probably best that I didn't make that big breakfast. Tuesday I will start again.

Individually, Dr. T and I are both clutter bugs. Together, we are a mess ;) He has newspapers and receipts and junk mail everywhere, and I tend to have yarn and whatever I brought home from work sitting around. After a few days it begins to feel claustrophobic. We both need to change our ways, but that means we have to work on it. The clutter really isn't very charming. I should turn on some lights and start cleaning... and maybe some heat. It is cold in here.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Being Sick and Veteran's Day

I am home sick today and I feel regret about it. I got a free day off yesterday, which was wonderful, and now I have another because I feel rotten. I really like going to work lately. I love my branches and what I do, even with the rabble. Well, here's to feeling better tomorrow.

Dr. T has been feeling sick all week. I would like to say that I am a good girlfriend and have been taking care of him, but in reality, I have barely acknowledged his sickness. I just keep doing my thing and in my mind he is fine until I ask him something and his nasally tone comes back to me and makes me realize that I should probably offer him some tea or something. He is pretty self reliant and tends to do those things for himself when he wants them. I know it is nice to be taken care of sometimes though. Like right now. But he is away on call tonight, so I am on my own.

Being off yesterday made me think about all the veterans in my life and there are a few. My dad and step-dad, several uncles and two of my cousins have served. Actually, one of my cousins is still serving. He is stationed in Japan and pilots harrier jets. It is what he has wanted to do since we were small. He has a wife and their two children are growing up abroad and from the look and sound of things are adapting quite well. I envy them their travels--and I know they are loving it.

Another cousin who has served in the reserves got called up twice to go to Iraq. He had some really interesting stories there that I would repeat for you if I could remember them well enough. He has had some recent health trouble that ensures that he won't be going back. He is a brave man and I have always admired him.

I found myself wondering why we are in Afghanistan and what our presence in the Middle East even means anymore. The politics of the situations are lost on me these days while I am worrying about mayoral races (yay McGinn!) and city budget cuts (thanks to the city council for giving an additional $863,000 to the library budget today). Now that those two things have settled and the initiatives and referendums are where they should be, I can read a bit more about foreign policy again.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009


And that is what I get for ranting on the internet. A phone call from my ex telling me that he knows that I think that The Boy isn't getting the care he needs because he isn't living in Seattle. Where the hell did I say that? I know my name is sarcasmgirl, but that name is from history, not my current style of writing. The good thing about it is that he called and we talked about The Boy. I was impressed at how fast he let the initial statement drop once I told him that isn't what I said. He even said once in the conversation "I am not trying to downplay your feelings about [The Boy]'s situation." A totally different man than I knew. We did argue back and forth a bit, and I didn't win the argument, but I wasn't totally unhappy with the outcome either.

And now that I know he could be reading this (but probably won't), I will stop talking about him.

Just so that you know, in case you read my earlier post wrong as well, I wish that The Boy had other type 1 diabetics his age to be around. He goes to camp once a year and the benefits are very noticeable in him. I wish he could have that all the time.

And yes, I often wish that The Boy were closer to me, or lived with me, but I can't spend all my time thinking about that. I work with what I have and try my best.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

The Darkness Under the Silver Lining

Had a wonderful weekend with family this weekend. Cousin S got married to a wonderful woman and the ceremony and reception were beautiful and fun. Sister M and Husband stayed at my house and we had a lovely time, attending wedding festivities and shopping with Brother M, Wife and baby and Brother C. It was really nice to see everyone.

This weekend with The Boy was very frustrating, though. Very. I love him so much and the worst thing he can do is harm himself. He skipped checking his blood sugar for both Thursday and Friday and he also skipped a day or two last weekend. The only time he checked it over this weekend was when I asked him to show his meter to me. One of the ones he did check was a 518 (normal range is between 80 and 120). I really found all this out when I sat down to put in his blood sugar levels for the week on a spreadsheet that the hospital sent me on Sunday evening. We just had a talk with the doctor last week about how important it is to test at least 3 times a day.

I feel like there are two major factors to his avoidance: 1, he just wants to avoid thinking about it and maybe it will go away, and 2, he is still embarrassed to be seen as different than other people. There was a brief time when he decided it was "cool" and was even giving himself injections at the table in restaurants, but that time is over. Can't say I liked the "cool" factor, but it was better than whatever is going through his head now.

I wish he could join a support group with other teens with type 1. I just don't see it happening, between his dad's resistance and his sports schedule and living so far out. Sorry, I have to rant a and get this out of my system and make a plan. I know his-step mom will see this, but I already sent the information to their email. I hate being a jailer, but I don't want my kid to die or lose a limb or his eyesight. I am going to check his meter every time from now on, even if he hates it and yells at me. Even if we are out somewhere and he is embarrassed. Even if I am tired and don't want to deal with the flack he gives me. I am going to start filling out the other parts of the form too, where it asks for carbs and units of insulin taken. No more cutting corners and being lenient.

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Blue Skies

This morning I went down the the Seattle Municipal Building and went up to the 17th floor. I spent 2 hours stuffing envelopes and chatting with the staff of Department of Neighborhoods, P-Patch. This was the last of my 8 hours (actually puts me at 10) of volunteer time for the P-Patch that we have to put in each year. While I was there, I was able to get them to change the picture on the Ballard P-Patch website so that it was no longer the wrong location--something I had been talking about with the site coordinator for months, but we just couldn't seem to get done. Now I have the right contact so I can also update the blurb. So much can get done when you are in the right room!

Another thing struck me while I was there. Working at Seattle Public Library, I am also a city employee, although it is somewhat different. We have a different bargaining unit, since we have a different union, but many things are the same. I mentioned the library several times in my conversations with the p-patch folks, but never came right out and said that I work there. They all asked which p-patch I belong to, though. It felt weird to be there for 2 hours without telling them that I also work for the city, but it never felt right to come out and say so either.

I met my dad for lunch down at the Pike Place Market after volunteering. We met at the pig and ended up at Cafe Campagne. Dad got the pre fix and I chose the cassoulett. Everything was really good. The cassoulett was a stew of white beans, sausage, pork, duck confit, and lamb; perfect for a cold day. We left there and went in search of a cookie. After only half a block we smelled something delicious and went into Le Panier (I know, a french kick...) and got 2 slices of fruit tart. We took them over to the benches overlooking the waterfront. Starlings begged for crust and we sat chatting about life, love, work and politics. It was a nice day. The sky was blue in the morning and it just started to spit rain as I headed home.

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